From Ocala/Marion County's Thoroughbred farms and training centers, to major bloodstock auctions and the excitement of racing at three racetracks and ITW simulcasting, Florida has it all!
Florida is home to some 600 Thoroughbred farms and training centers, with more than 75 percent of these located near Ocala in Marion County. Ocala is also home to the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company, which stages major bloodstock auctions throughout the year. OBS also operates an ITW simulcasting theater and each March hosts the annual Week of Champions races.
The Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association is also located in Ocala. The FTBOA administers the $15-million state breeders' incentive program and is responsible for promoting the Florida Thoroughbred industry.
The concentration of the Thoroughbred breeding and training industry in the Ocala/Marion County area is strongly supported by a network of equine services, such as veterinarians, feed and tack retailers, blacksmiths, equine dentists, and major horse transportation companies.
All these factors make Ocala one of only four major Thoroughbred breeding and training centers in the world.
A Look at the Equine Industry's Impact on Marion County, Florida
“Horse Capital of the World,”™
Known as the “Horse Capital of the World,”™ Ocala/Marion County is home to Thoroughbred breeding and training farms, covering more than 70,000 acres of Florida’s prime, mineral-rich pastures. Since 1945, Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association (FTBOA) has represented the Thoroughbred industry by administering awards programs for Florida-Bred racehorses and promoting the industry to the rest of the country and the world. More than 1,500 members strong, FTBOA is active in pertinent issues facing the local and national Thoroughbred industries.
Marion Home to Many Breeds
Grow Florida - America’s Thoroughbred Capital: Farther South Than You Think
Ocala/Marion County Statistics*
Thoroughbreds in Ocala/Marion County: Approximately 35,300
Thoroughbred farms/ training centers in Ocala/Marion County area: 431
Acres dedicated to the Thoroughbred industry in Ocala/Marion County: 70,000+
Economic impact of the Thoroughbred industry on Ocala/Marion County: $1.3+ Billion
Investment dollars in farms, training centers, improvements, equipment, storage, breeding, and racing stock in Ocala/Marion County: ** $3.5 Billion
*American Horse Council Study, 2005 ** FTBOA
Additional Florida Industry Resources
NTRA INVESTMENT INCENTIVES RACEHORSE & PROPERTY DEPRECIATION
2015 Seminole Gaming Compact with the State of Florida
2015 Number of Florida Foals Up Again
Equine Industry poised for growth – 2015 American Horse Publications Survey
Economic Impact Studies
2015 CEP Marion County Equine Economic Impact Study
2015 CEP Press Release on Marion County Equine Economic Impact Study
2014 Florida Horse Racing Economic Impact Study
2015 Florida Thoroughbred Industry Video
A Florida-bred - features 2014 Stakes Winners commercial
Sunny Florida Produces Champions from Start to Finish commercial
Champions Through History
Promoting Florida thoroughbreds Internationally – Ireland Trip 2015
Elite Equestrian – Economic Impact by the Numbers 2015
JOCKEY CLUB – Florida Fact Book Resource Guide
Florida breeding on the rise – by Cynthia McFarland
Florida Foal Crop up 2nd straight year – Foals of 2013
Florida Remains # 2 in numbers of Stallions, Mares Bred
Home of Champions
Florida’s Thoroughbred farms and training centers have produced 50 National Champions 6 Kentucky Derby winners 7 Preakness Stakes winners 6 Belmont Stakes winners 26 Breeders’ Cup champions 6 Horses of the Year
(Left) Florida Champion Roman Brother becomes a Chamber of Commerce member